Alright, alright, Miss USA and Miss America are all well and good, but I don’t want to leave you with a limited scope of pageants. While those two are among the big players, there are an amazing amount of large, organized pageants all over the globe!
There’s the Miss Earth Pageant, based out of the Philippines, which began in 2001. This pageant promotes environmental awareness and is one of the most publicized beauty contest in the world. The winner of this pageant becomes the Spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The contestants can come from all over, with the 2013 winner being from Venezuela.
Miss Globe International Pageant, founded in 1925, is usually held in the Eastern Turkey Mediterranean region. Women across cultures and nations, age ranging from 17 to 25, can compete.
The Miss Heritage Pageant, based out of Zimbabwe, was formed in 2012. It was formerly known as Miss Heritage World, and the organization’s goal is to advance world heritage. The idea is that women from all around the world can come to represent the “most important feature” of her country. The show also makes it explicitly clear that they accept all religions, as religion is a huge part of heritage. The 2013 winner was born in the Bahamas. The 2014 competition will be hosted in the Kingdom of Lesotho, in Africa.
I could go on, and on, and on. There are pageants for married women (as most pageants demand single ladies only), elderly, transgendered, military….
Actually, the transgendered and military pageants are fairly new for how well established they are.
Miss International Queen in the world’s largest and most well known beauty pageant for transgendered people. The pageant is international, and has been held in Pattaya City, Thailand since 2004. The winner receives a cash prize of ten-thousand dollars and gets put up in a resort in Pattaya City for a year. The message or objective for the pageant is to raise awareness for transgender rights among the international communities and to donate proceeds to Thailand’s Royal AIDS foundation. The current Miss International Queen is from Brazil. (Below – 2013 Miss International Queen Winner)
Ms. Veteran America Pageant began in 2012, as a way to raise money and awareness for Final Salute, an organization created to fight homelessness among female veterans. This competition is an amazing thing. Open to all military vets, the 2012 pageant had women ranging from 21 to 89. The pageant’s official website states that the “purpose of this event is to showcase “The Woman Beyond the Uniform.‘” The idea is that after hiding away much of their femininity in order to fit into the “boys club” military, female veterans deserve a chance to show off the beauty and talents that maybe weren’t needed on the battlefield. (Below – the 2013 Ms. Veteran America Contestants)
All of these pageants are fascinating in how similar and yet how different they are from the “big pageants.” The more I discover about these other aspects of pageants, the more I get the itch to travel. Maybe these shows will end up on my itinerary.